Originally settled by the Romans as the town of Derventio, Derby is a riverside city in the heart of England. It is considered one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution, with many of its historic mills collectively designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Things to do in Derby
Occupying a building designed by Richard Knill Freeman is the Derby Museum and Art Gallery, which opened to visitors in 1882. It houses an outstanding collection of paintings by the English landscape artist, Joseph Wright, as well as porcelain manufactured by Royal Crown Derby. A highlight of the museum is the recreated room where Bonnie Prince Charlie held a war meeting before the Jacobite rising of 1745.
A short walk from the museum is the Derby Cathedral, which boasts one of the highest church towers in England. Coincide your visit with a tower opening to make the 189-step-climb to the roof, then marvel at the stained-glass windows in the cathedral’s interior. Guided tours offer a fascinating insight into Derby Cathedral’s links to Florence Nightingale and Bess of Hardwick.
You can delve into Derby’s industrial past at the Silk Mill, which occupies the former site of Lombe’s Mill. It forms part of the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site and was transformed into the Museum of Making in 2016. Not only does it tell the centuries-old story of Derby through interactive displays but it also features a high-bypass turbofan engine produced by Rolls-Royce.
Getting around Derby
Derby is a 45-minute drive from Leicester and one hour from the centre of Birmingham. East Midlands Airport is just 20 minutes away and has flights to destinations across Europe. Trains connect from towns and cities across England to the Derby railway station and buses travel throughout Derby.